According to the map, El Paraíso is in the State of Veracruz.
As far as its residents are concerned, they live in the State of Oaxaca.
Alberta & The Garden of Eden
Aquiles & The Jungle Island
On the outskirts of the town is a little ranch, Las Margaritas, owned by Aquiles Miguel Méndez who inherited it from his father who, in the 1950s, had the foresight to leave it untouched.
Locally, it’s known as ‘The Jungle Island’.
This little patch of luscious greenery is the last remaining native jungle in a sea of over-farmed dairy land. It’s home to a small population of howler monkeys who live high in the treetops, confined to their island cage.
“…it was virgin mountain… I don’t think you have to destroy something to live, to eat… you don’t have to knock it down… the day that I die my monkey reserve will live on. “
~ Aquiles Miguel Méndez, Landowner
“Well, for me, it’s been a paradise since my husband died, I suffered him until God remembered him. Here I am still, I have my children around.”
~ Susana Santandar Barrueta, Mother of 11
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